Lucas County Fair Opens With Fanfare And Family Fun

Bill and Vicky Ryan, the 2023 Lucas County Fair grand marshals, welcome everyone to the beginning of the fair.

BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — The Lucas County Fair began with a parade followed by the opening ceremony on July 10.

The parade moved through the fairgrounds located at 1406 Key St. in Maumee and featured 4-H and FFA students along with the previous king Rylan Andrews and queen Trista Patterson.

Following the parade, new queen Emma DiFeterici was crowned. As there is no king this year, she said she is excited to share her responsibilities with fellow candidates Corinne Shull and Hannah Miller.

“They are both absolutely amazing,” DiFeterici said. “I’m so excited to have a reign with them next.”

DiFeterici and Miller both come from Otsego High School and have been members of Providence Profitable Producers 4-H. Shull is part of the Swan Creek Cygnets and graduated from Springfield High School.

The three have had experience with the fair for years, showing a variety of animals, and will spend their time educating the community on the purpose of a fair like Lucas County’s and how to get involved.

“I want people to know, you don’t have to have animals to come to a fair, especially since we’re so urban,” DiFeterici said. “We could get so many more people to come with skill projects.”

The opportunity for young adults such as DiFeterici to be exhibitors and educators regarding their projects is part of the reason the fair is so important, shared co-grand marshal Vicky Ryan.

“The kids are not just exhibitors, they can also be educators when they talk to somebody about their project,” Vicky said. “It’s so cool to see them talk about their animals and their projects and show people where their food comes from.”

Vicky and Bill Ryan have been involved with the Lucas County Fair and related activities for nearly 50 years and were named the grand marshals for this year’s fair. They’ve spent their summer vacations camping on the grounds with their children – the same grounds their grandchildren now camp on and show off their animals.

“Fifty years is a long time. There’s been a lot of changes. I think the biggest accomplishment I’ve seen that I was involved in, was the new show ring,” Bill said.

In order to provide the young fair participants a larger, cooler space to show off their livestock, several members of the fair board and young competitors banded together to raise the funds for the arena.

“It’s the best show ring around. You talk to anybody who comes here for a show, and they say that ring is the best,” Bill added. “I think that was the biggest thing we did for this community.”

Lucas County commissioners Lisa Sobecki and Tina Wozniak had the opportunity to speak to the attendees during opening events and expressed their excitement for the festivities on the fairgrounds.

“The fair, for most of us, is where we build memories,” Wozniak said. “It doesn’t matter what age you are, something happens to you. You become more committed to your community. You’re more committed to the work that you’re doing.”

For Lucas County residents, the fair is an important part of Lucas County Rec Center history and community tradition.

Sobecki said the importance of a fair is something she has known since she was a young girl, and she was grateful for all the families who have helped their children with their projects, allowing them to participate in the fair.

Jess Soffee, the 4-H educator in Lucas County, congratulated all of the 4-H students for the hard work they have put in to get them to this point in the year.

Abby Winslow, a member of the Lucas County Agricultural Society Board, nodded to the importance of the volunteers, participants, families and board members who have helped with the fair this year.

“I would like to thank the people who made the fair possible,” Winslow said. First of all, the board, who spent many months trying to plan things and make things run smoothly this week. All of the exhibitors who have spent months and months preparing their projects … and all of the parents who supported their kids … without all of you, this fair wouldn’t be possible.”

There are still several days left of the fair, which is held at 1406 Key St. in Maumee, with many activities and events planned through Sunday, July 16.

This year, some new events have been added to the lineup, including a STEM exhibit and an open swine show.

“I’m really excited about the STEM program. I’ve read everything about it, and I’m really excited for that,” Vicky said. “We’ve also never had an open swine show, so that will be great.”

Admission to the Lucas County Fair is $7.00 for those over the age of 9.

More information on the fair can also be found online at lucascountyfair.com or on the Lucas County Fair-grounds Facebook page.

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